I feel like I can trust you… so I’m going to share with you some potentially humiliating things. At the insistence of my favorite wedding planner, Tyler, and against my will, I recently submitted to a blog for publication. Needless to say, I was rejected. I’m tempted to be discouraged, especially when I see what other AMAZING photogs are producing. I’m not where I want to be! Maybe I’m not working hard enough or maybe I’m not skilled enough.
But then I’m comforted by this thought: I’ve come a long way. I shot my first wedding May 21, 2011. The shot you see below was what I thought was the absolute best shot from the day! The money shot, if you will. I was also proud of the exit shot! (Even though I was a newbie, I knew the conditions were tough…everything was taking place when the sun was at its highest, so I knew it was going to be difficult, and I was pretty proud!)
I only posted about 30 pictures because I wasn’t proud of the rest of them, but figured I had to post some mediocre ones. I was proud of my start! I was proud that it wasn’t a disaster. But I knew my photos lacked the quality I wanted them to have.
In the few weeks leading up to that one year anniversary, I was able to shoot two of my favorite weddings back to back. And I was pleasantly reminded of how far I’ve come. This past year has seen a lot of change…I actually feel comfortable posting 100 or more photos and still be proud of the ones that I don’t post! That’s not something I could say a year ago. Take a look at some recent favorites for comparison..
May 11 – Stacey and Justin
May 12 – Kristy and Kyle
On May 19th, just two days shy of my 1 year anniversary of my first wedding, I shot Elizabeth and Adam’s DC wedding.
And then on June 9th, about 3 weeks after that anniversary, I shot my cousin’s wedding in Key West! (Coming soon!) The shot below is one of my ALL TIME favorite portraits. ALL TIME.
I hope you see as much difference as I feel there is. Yes, equipment is part of it, as is editing. But more than that, I’m growing and learning and changing. And this gives me courage and comfort that I’m getting there! I am! With more time and experience, I’ll push through and become the photographer that I want to be! I guess I have to learn to give myself some grace. I’ve shot 13 weddings in my whole life, so I know it’s going to take some time to start executing the way I want to. It’s easy for me to get frustrated when I feel like my production isn’t matching what I KNOW in my head. I look back on the way I did some things, even recently, and I think, “CURRIE! You know better!” I’ve learned a lot about lighting over the last year and slowly but surely, it’s translating to my work. I still make mistakes..tons. In past weddings, I wish I had been more vocal about moving to a better spot or spending more time on something important, instead of saying, “Well, this’ll work/ there’s not enough time/ they want me to finish quickly” etc. I wish I wouldn’t have let people with suggestions intimidate me from doing what I KNOW is better. The good news is that as I continue, my confidence grows. I know which voices to amplify, and which ones to quiet. When I have confidence and experience in what I know, it’s easier to go boldly, to speak with conviction and to create photos that I know I can be proud of.
Keeping with the theme of how far I’ve come.. and just for my own personal satisfaction and the weird need to always see before and afters, here are some more comparison shots! (Note: all the “before”s are from my first 3 weddings) Keep in mind, I tried to pick photos that showed the greatest difference, so there might actually be better ones in the original posts!
May 21, 2011 Ashley is BEAUTIFUL but I did her no favors by trying to force the “backlit” look when the sun was so incredibly high! Something I knew in my head, but didn’t execute. Also..my editing needs..editing.
VS May 19, 2012 Like the above picture, the sun was fairly high, BUT we stuck to shade and covered areas. Better, yes?
June 18th, 2011 In my defense, I had a horrible macro lens at the time. Is this even in focus?? And I think you can tell the lights from the room are discoloring everything. Either that or this is waaayy over-edited.
VS May 12, 2012 Ah. Improved macro lens + seeing more ring ideas + natural light = better ring shot.
MEN GETTING READY
May 21, 2011 Joel is such a cutie! But I was a little panicked. I was in a room with so many guys and I felt like I was intruding because I had never done this! ! It was probably written all over my face how flustered I was. The result was me trying to work too fast and not get everything set up to it’s potential!
RECEPTION LIGHTING (one of the biggest changes since the beginning!)
September 9th, 2011 Working with a 50mm and single flash bounced off the ceiling..
VS June 1, 2012 I’m starting to really love shooting receptions with my 35mm and two flashes!
So happy Wednesday everyone! If you have any questions about anything I’ve said today, I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my ability for you! I know I still have a long way to go, but at least I know where I’m headed!
May you always be bold in your convictions and ever be growing in them!